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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published July 11 2012

Weather Talk: 136-degree temp in Libya in 1922 still world record

Ninety-nine years ago on July 10, the temperature at the Greenland Ranch (peculiar name) in Death Valley, Calif., at an elevation of 178 feet below sea level, reached 134 degrees. At the time, this was the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, and it remained so until 1922, when a temperature of 136 degrees was measured in El Azizia in Libya.

The Death Valley reading remains the hottest temperature ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. The Libyan reading remains the world record.

Of course, it is unrealistic to think of either of these readings as the “hottest it has ever been.” Temperature readings only count for records if they are made on standard equipment at an established weather station to ensure quality control. But it is certain that hotter temperatures, probably into the 140s, have occurred sometime, somewhere in the world.


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